Hooks Cuts from Butch to Calc

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  • Butch Harmon tutoring Phil Mickelson certainly adds a new wrinkle to the Tiger/Phil rivalry that were still waiting to play out, but mostly it speaks to the rock star status of todays instructors. Years ago, Jack Nicklaus took advice from Gardner Dickinson and Jim Flick in addition to his longtime mentor, Jack Grout, and it barely registered. With no contracts, drafts or drug scandals, golfs hungry for scraps of news.
     
  • Lorena Ochoas character and talent are undeniable, but her ascension to world No. 1 without winning a major is questionable.
     
  • Anthony Kims caddie, Ron Levin, known as Bambi, says the 21-year-old is a superstar starter kit. The pieces just need to be assembled.
     
  • Mark Calcavecchias putting together another very good year with a very 80s philosophy. Ill be at Harrahs at 2 in the afternoon having a couple beers and playin blackjack while everyone else is out hittin balls, he said prior to the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.
     
  • Of the tougher-is-better trend on the PGA TOUR, Davis Love III asks, Why wouldnt you want home runs? If baseball moved the fences back to 450 feet little kids wouldnt go to the games. People want to see birdies, not guys struggling for par.
     
  • Journalism lost a giant of Nicklaus proportions when David Halberstam died in a car crash in California earlier this week.
     
  • Apparently the V1 doesnt fall far from the Titleist. Acushnet boss Wally Uihleins kid, Peter, shot 67-71-67 to win the prestigious Terra Cotta Amateur in Naples. Equipments clearly not an issue.
     
  • Played 11 holes in 35 mph winds at Kiawahs Ocean Course recently. Thats like trying to score a touchdown from the three with your ankles tiedblindfolded ... against the '85 Bears. If it blows, good luck to the 50-plus set at the upcoming Senior PGA.
     
  • Speaking of tough, Oakmont got Tigers attention. He liked what he saw over several recent rounds and reached the 288-yard, par-3 eighth with a 3-wood into a stiff breeze. To the APs Doug Ferguson on why he didnt hit driver, Tiger cracked, Its against my religion. Plenty of guys wont have a prayer this June.
     
  • Long before people knew what a spine angle was, instructors kept it simple. To the legion of the frustrated who ventured to my Pops Pennsylvania driving range looking to cure their slice, Frank Stocke, the cardigan and Sansabelt pro who worked the overnight shift at a local battery plant, would say, Well ya gotta pronate the hands. Hed then flick his unfiltered camel farther than they could hit their 5-iron.
     
  • Nick Watney did everything right last week, but nothing better than wearing the Virginia Tech hat.
     
  • Earlier this month Davis also said, Lets not let The Players become a U.S. Open. Were going to stay on em the next couple weeks.
     
  • Calcs message to young TOUR players: Dont over grind. If you hit 10 good 5-irons, drop it and go have a good time.
     
  • A friend tells the story of an old Savannah pro, Walt Ronan, in a cart watching a guy take a swipe at a ball sitting perfectly atop some heavy rough. Walt elbows a pal seated next to him and whispers, He might could miss that. Naturally, the guy whiffed. Golf commentary, like golf instruction, is best served without a lot of garnish. Butch Harmon, old school to the core, understands that exceedingly well.
     
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